Top tech policy makers meet in Warsaw for world’s leading international
How to ensure fair, competitive markets in face of an increasingly complex
ICT landscape and growing dominance of big players?
Warsaw, 3 July, 2013 – More than 650 high-level
international delegates from the world’s information and communication
technology (ICT) regulatory authorities are gathering this week in Warsaw,
Poland to discuss the challenges of fostering new business opportunities in
infrastructure and service provision in an increasingly interdependent,
interconnected , trans-border environment.
The world’s largest specialized gathering of ICT regulators and policy
makers, ITU’s Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) aims to stimulate debate,
knowledge sharing and exchange of best practice among regulators, industry
leaders, government policy analysts and other key ICT stakeholders.
Discussions will focus on how to ensure equal treatment of players and uptake
of online services without stifling market growth through imposition of extra
regulatory burdens on operators and service providers. The symposium will also
look at the evolving role of ICT regulators as partners for economic development
and social inclusion.
Chaired this year by Magdalena Gaj, President of the Office of Electronic
Communications (UKE) of Poland, this morning’s opening debate, Building the
Future Digital Society, featured top-name speakers including Poland’s Minister
of Administration and Digitization, Michal Boni; European Commission
Vice-President, Neelie Kroes; Acting Chairwoman of the FCC, Mignon Clyburn;
Director-General of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot; Director, Europe, Middle East and
Africa, Facebook, Lord Richard Allen; Deputy CEO of Orange, Pierre Louette; and
other key industry and government leaders. The debate was moderated by Brahima
Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), which
organizes the symposium every year as a service to ITU’s public and private
Taking place at the Warsaw Hilton hotel, the full three-day GSR
programme spans a wide range of compelling issues, including
spectrum policy and ‘white spaces’; financing strategies for fixed and mobile
broadband rollout; digital transactions; IPv4 to IPv6 migration; new revenue
schemes for online delivery of broadcasting content; national broadband
interconnection charging; and the importance of industry-agreed technical
Speaking to delegates at the GSR opening this morning, ITU’s
Deputy-Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, said the theme of this year’s event, ‘4th
Generation Regulation: Driving Digital Communications Ahead’, throws the
spotlight on the critical role of regulators worldwide in setting the right
policy frameworks for growth.
“Effective ICT development depends on the right policy and regulatory
environment being in place, and on effective regulation. At ITU – the leading UN
agency for ICT issues – we place tremendous emphasis on the importance of
establishing an enabling environment in furthering ICT development. This makes
the GSR particularly important as a unique platform for the regulatory
community,” he said.
In her opening address, GSR Chair Magdalena Gaj told delegates that
telecommunication networks have become the lifeblood of the world economy. “None
of us can imagine today’s work and daily life without a telephone, computer or
the Internet access…We have come here from different continents. We represent
different cultures, different backgrounds and value systems. But we have one
thing in common – we all want permanent access to the Internet, because we are
all confident that it guarantees development and a better life.”
This year’s symposium comes at a time of enormous transition for the ICT
sector. New content and application providers, such as over-the-top players, are
changing the rules of the game. At the same time, sharp increases in data flows
resulting from the rapid development of new services and applications, such as
cloud services, coupled with changing consumer behaviours that call for
always-on, ubiquitous access to ICTs, are challenging the traditional role and
mandate of the regulator, calling for a rethink of traditional approaches to
regulation in a digital ecosystem.
“This year alone, IP traffic is expected to grow by around 14 exabytes per
month, driven by the ever-growing number of connected people and connectable
devices, and increasingly widespread consumer access to fixed and mobile
broadband networks,” said BDT Director Brahima Sanou. “For regulators striving
to create a level playing field and ensure non-discriminatory practices and
transparency of market information, this period of transition to a truly
transnational market for ICT services is creating a need for stronger
cross-border, regional and international cooperation,” he said.
The GSR continues until Friday 5 July, culminating in a series of regulatory
Guidelines. Outputs from the meeting will also be incorporated into
ITU’s annual regulatory report,
The essential voice of industry is brought in through the Global
Regulators-Industry Dialogue (GRID), where both public and private sector
participants have the chance to debate pressing challenges, such as how to best
meet the new broadband goals now being set by a growing number of governments.
In addition, a special dedicated meeting of private sector Chief Regulatory
Officers, held just prior to the opening of the GSR, facilitated discussion and
information sharing among telecommunication service and technology companies,
and helped frame debate during the symposium itself.
The afternoon of 2 July saw ITU host a special meeting of Regulatory
Associations, which provided an opportunity for discussion, information exchange
and bridge-building to promote better and more active cooperation between
Regulatory Associations in different regions.
Leading industry association the GSMA also organized a
pre-event seminar on the topic of “Setting realistic
expectations for spectrum auctions” as part of the Pre-event Programme on July
A series of Discussion Papers on key GSR issues is available
Background information, including speeches of the high-level participants and
key global statistics on broadband, are available on the GSR-13 Newsroom at
Download GSR-13 photos:
Watch GSR-13 interviews:
Follow the event on Twitter at: #GSR13.
For more information, visit
www.itu.int/GSR-13 or contact:
Media & PR, Office
of the Advisor to the President
Chief, Media Relations & Public